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theEvilQueen2

Off Seaside Saturday, Just my humble opinion

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I was on the April 27 Seaside cruise. While I had a couple of issues, they were nothing compared to OP's and I will probably sail MSC again. My main gripe was the quality of the food in the dining room (Ipenama) and the lack of variety in the buffet, but I knew that going in. I, too, ran into slow service, but in only one bar (Sports Bar). I also witnessed folks waiting a long time to get a drink and some walking out. Of course it can happen when it's crowded, but both times it was during a slow period. On the other hand, I had fantastic service in all the other venues I visited, especially the Champagne Bar and the creperie (deck 7?)  I was amazed when workers remembered my name and I had only been at that location once before. Guest Services gets a down check. I had 15 Euros leftover from a European cruise which I wanted to convert to dollars. GS wanted to charge me five dollars for the transfer. I went to the casino and got more dollars back in the exchange. LOL

Fortunately, I upgraded my drink package to the old Deluxe package (536) at the beginning of December and I had no issues with drinks, Venchi, crepes, etc. (thank you Bea and Sidari)

So for me, the pluses outweighed the negatives. I status matched to Gold. I didn't get a robe, and I didn't get a gift, but that didn't bother me. These were minor nits which didn't factor into my overall satisfaction. 

I don't see what the issue is regarding Europeans vs North Americans. Everyone I met was there to have a good time. I enjoyed the interaction with the folks I met.  I was on this cruise just to check out the cruise line and the ship. I'm not going to let issues I had on this cruise be a determining factor. I expect I will get the dining package if I sail the Seaside again. My wife was not able to go on this cruise, but she would have loved this ship. I will, however, have to let my regular cruise group know what to expect if we decide to sail MSC as a group.

Jim

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For me, I have to say that I would have to weigh the cost of the cruise against what I've experienced on MSC, to decide whether to cruise with them again.  I consider them to be similar to Carnival, to be honest, not in terms of the cruise itself, but the irritation of dealing with them.  I LIKE Carnival, but I don't think Carnival is worth a premium price, so I'm only willing to spend up to a certain amount on a cruise with them.  I like MSC.  The food was rather good, especially in the buffet (although, I thought their steakhouse wasn't worth the expense).  Some of the drinks are good, if I stick to one or two bars, but I have to find a particular bartender and stick with them.  I like that you can get through the boarding process fairly simply.  That said, since I've had nagging issues that were difficult to get resolved on both of the MSC cruises I've taken, I have to heavily weigh the likelihood that something is probably going to not be "right" and will likely be unreasonably difficult and time-consuming to have corrected.  I'll have to ask myself, "Is this cruise priced to where I'm willing to probably have to spend hours of my cruise to get something corrected, that would take only minutes on another line?"  Especially considering that the port times in my favorite Caribbean ports are not ideal.  I mean, 5 pm for a docking time in San Juan?  One of the major draws of San Juan are the forts, which close at 6 pm.  The St. Martin dock times are not much better. 

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On 5/21/2019 at 10:29 AM, JAGR said:

Glad you got the Venchi drinks!  I did the same in March.  If you wanted crepes you had to go aft on deck 7.  I was happy the moved the trivia to Plaza Grande. The year before it was in the Seaview Lounge (which was good for the Cruise Critic reception).

Luckily I make great crepes... so I can have those anytime.  Although having someone else do the clean up is a plus.  

 

I loved the orange hot chocolate.  Wish I could duplicate it.  Does anybody know what they use for that creamy texture????

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I agree jcathers1..Wow, theEvilQueen2 (why that name?! not very complimentary); we have never had a problem on any MSC cruise except on believing what a bargain sailing on MSC is; it was less expensive than any other cruiseline - and we've sailed on many - for the itinerary we were looking for.  Our last, we left the Seaside Saturday 5/18 and I'm still in mourning.  No one could have been nicer; do wish more spoke conversational English but that was a nit because there were 179 dialects on this cruise, and that's one of the draws. You speak of poor reviews..those, I may have seen a few, but not nearly enough to sway our view of MSC.  I feel the same way as another post..I hope this doesn't turn anyone off to experiencing MSC and forming his/her own opinion.  We have never had to visit Guest Services for any reason. Of course I'm sorry you had this unpleasant experience but we will never abandon MSC and the dedicated and amazing staff/employees...even though we cruise free on RCL..their itineraries are not as favorable as other lines, especially MSC and more often, we feel shortchanged with their time in ports, or having to wake up at the crack of dawn to disembark the ship in the different ports.  Wishing you sincere good luck in the future with whatever line you choose!

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2 minutes ago, jes1941 said:

I agree jcathers1..Wow, theEvilQueen2 (why that name?! not very complimentary); we have never had a problem on any MSC cruise except on believing what a bargain sailing on MSC is; it was less expensive than any other cruiseline - and we've sailed on many - for the itinerary we were looking for.  Our last, we left the Seaside Saturday 5/18 and I'm still in mourning.  No one could have been nicer; do wish more spoke conversational English but that was a nit because there were 179 dialects on this cruise, and that's one of the draws. You speak of poor reviews..those, I may have seen a few, but not nearly enough to sway our view of MSC.  I feel the same way as another post..I hope this doesn't turn anyone off to experiencing MSC and forming his/her own opinion.  We have never had to visit Guest Services for any reason. Of course I'm sorry you had this unpleasant experience but we will never abandon MSC and the dedicated and amazing staff/employees...even though we cruise free on RCL..their itineraries are not as favorable as other lines, especially MSC and more often, we feel shortchanged with their time in ports, or having to wake up at the crack of dawn to disembark the ship in the different ports.  Wishing you sincere good luck in the future with whatever line you choose!

 

Agreed. We have sailed on NCL in the Haven 3 times, and in the YC on Seaside last year. There's a reason we are sailing in the YC again this June and July. With the exception of the room sizes in the Haven, the products/services are nearly identical (in our opinion), and a half the price (literally) on MSC.

 

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idlewis45, I don't think you can compare MSC to Carnival in any way, shape or form.  Everyone knows Carnival as a party ship, i.e. hairy chest contest, best legs, stuffing ping pong balls in a female's bikini top, etc.  Too many kids most of the time but if we take kids, that's ok.  We are still in shock at how inexpensive the price of this cruise was! Disembark..off the Seaside 5/18 and back to our hotel room in one hour..Carnival, 3 long hours, and embarkation was not much different with the long lines. Disembarking at 5:00 pm was fine with us, and you knew that when booking.  The evening tour was good and not so hot and the sunset, amazing! Forts?  If you've seen one, you've seen them all. Of course, this is just my opinion.  Good luck in your future sailings.

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theEvilQueen2, I think that is a very unfair statement about only being treated well if you're in YC..I beg to differ; we don't always do YC, depending on how many cruises we are planning.  As a matter of fact, sometimes we like to gamble and last cruise on Seaside 5/11, we did "balcony guarantee" and it could not have been any better and, granted, there are many YC perks, but we basically were treated no differently, and the price was unbelievable.  Doesn't seem fair that you are telling fellow cruisers to book only YC because not everyone can, or even wants to, spend that much!  We've decided we're not even sure we want to.  This is just my opinion!

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4 minutes ago, jes1941 said:

idlewis45, I don't think you can compare MSC to Carnival in any way, shape or form.  Everyone knows Carnival as a party ship, i.e. hairy chest contest, best legs, stuffing ping pong balls in a female's bikini top, etc.  Too many kids most of the time but if we take kids, that's ok.  We are still in shock at how inexpensive the price of this cruise was! Disembark..off the Seaside 5/18 and back to our hotel room in one hour..Carnival, 3 long hours, and embarkation was not much different with the long lines. Disembarking at 5:00 pm was fine with us, and you knew that when booking.  The evening tour was good and not so hot and the sunset, amazing! Forts?  If you've seen one, you've seen them all. Of course, this is just my opinion.  Good luck in your future sailings.

You misunderstood my post.  I never compared the quality of a Carnival cruise to the quality of an MSC cruise.  I was basically saying that, just as I have to do with Carnival, I was going to have to strongly weigh what I was likely to experience on MSC versus the cost of the cruise to determine if it was worth the price.  I had a very good time on my MSC cruises, and I'm likely to take one again.  I'm just not likely to take it if I have to pay a premium to do so, and that's looking more likely as their prices rise for the US market, and not if I'm looking for more time in certain ports.  There's multiple reasons I feel that way.  One, the fact that both cruises I took had issues that were harder to rectify than they should have been.  Two, the fact that the fellow cruisers sometimes had different standards for what constituted polite behavior.  (Although, I've found that to be true on US cruise lines departing from different regions in the US, too, so I place less emphasis on that than some other people.  I'm very good at ignoring other people's behavior and basically doing a mental "well, bless their heart!"  If you're from the US south, you know what that means, lol.)  Three, the port times aren't always ideal if I plan on doing something particular in a port.  Granted, that's something that has to be considered on every cruise, no matter the line. If I'm looking for a relaxation cruise, where all I'm going to be doing is the spa, sitting on my balcony, finding a good spot to read in a bar, and not planning on doing much in the ports, sure, I'll sail with MSC again if they're the right price.  But I'm also willing to go with Carnival, NCL, Holland America, etc.  

 

Yes, I did know the port times when booking, obviously.  I just didn't realize at the time that it would impact it as much as it did, as when I initially booked, I was going to be traveling by myself and had been to the forts in San Juan previously.  Then my parents decided to join me.  I was disappointed in the times for my dad, especially, as he is a history fan and had never been to the forts at San Juan before (or any others that I know of).  I don't usually do cruise line tours, as I've found that more often than not, they're a cattle call and not ideal for people that have difficulty getting around or issues with hearing (my parents).  So basically, we got off the ship, went to a restaurant nearby that I'd been to before and knew was good, had dinner, went to a couple of nearby shops, and got back on the ship.  I just don't know why they timed the port stop like they did, when it cuts out a huge portion of available on-shore attractions, especially since the previous MSC Seaside cruise I took had a much earlier arrival in San Juan.  So yeah, I won't pay a premium in the future for a cruise that basically wastes what would have been a great port.  

 

And as for the disembarkation in Miami, well, that's more on CBP than MSC, lol.  I work for CBP.  The reason it was so fast is that CBP in the port of Miami has fairly recently implemented facial recognition equipment, which speeds everything up considerably.  Now that most people are just getting cleared by the camera and aren't having to stand in a line and speak with an officer, you get off the ship a heck of a lot faster (as long as the system doesn't crash, which it did for a short period on the 18th).  It's ideal for the passenger, not so much for Customs, lol.  But it has absolutely nothing to do with MSC's abilities.  

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theEvilQueen2...Regarding your statement of the "F" rating for MSC cruises, I have worked for the BBB in Maitland,  FL and I think I am pretty aware of the ins and outs of the Bureau.  With 75 complaints and the millions of people sailing on MSC, this is nothing, and the number of people who complain just to complain is ridiculous; I had over 200 complaint files that I investigated and many times, the complaints added a little humor to my day!  If you will check further, you will see that MSC did respond to the complaints and offered a resolution but whether it was acceptable or not, that information cannot be released..I would like to think MSC made good!

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idlewis45..so sorry I misinterpreted your review. I asked our son-in-law who is Chief Meteorologist for RCL why the different arrival times in port and he said often times depends upon how many other ships are due to be in a port on any given day.  I liked the later time because some docked in early morning and departed early afternoon..Me, an early person..lolol..not!  Whomever is responsible for the quicker disembarking,  hallelujah!!  Are the other cruiselines now doing it as well, because our last Carnival cruise a few months ago was not a good experience.  We really like MSC but after many, many cruises, NCL remains our favorite!  Happy sailing and I apologize again.

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24 minutes ago, jes1941 said:

theEvilQueen2, I think that is a very unfair statement about only being treated well if you're in YC..I beg to differ; we don't always do YC, depending on how many cruises we are planning.  As a matter of fact, sometimes we like to gamble and last cruise on Seaside 5/11, we did "balcony guarantee" and it could not have been any better and, granted, there are many YC perks, but we basically were treated no differently, and the price was unbelievable.  Doesn't seem fair that you are telling fellow cruisers to book only YC because not everyone can, or even wants to, spend that much!  We've decided we're not even sure we want to.  This is just my opinion!

So far we have never sailed in YC on our Nine MSC cruises and usually sail in Fantastica or Aurea, Aurea had been our chosen way to sail until MSC chose to downgrade it with the Easy drink package.

We see no benefit at the minute in YC and have never had any poor treatment in our Nine sailings which have been in various places, 2 X T.A, 1 Europe to Dubai, 2 X Northern Europe and the others in the Caribbean.

Yes there have been a few small niggles onboard but not enough to drive us away from MSC.

The current poor state of affairs with the management of the company may however push us back to one of the other lines we have sailed with in the future.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, sidari said:

So far we have never sailed in YC on our Nine MSC cruises and usually sail in Fantastica or Aurea, Aurea had been our chosen way to sail until MSC chose to downgrade it with the Easy drink package.

We see no benefit at the minute in YC and have never had any poor treatment in our Nine sailings which have been in various places, 2 X T.A, 1 Europe to Dubai, 2 X Northern Europe and the others in the Caribbean.

Yes there have been a few small niggles onboard but not enough to drive us away from MSC.

The current poor state of affairs with the management of the company may however push us back to one of the other lines we have sailed with in the future.

 

It isn't any better on the other lines in my experience.  We did the Divina for 32 days this past Dec and we have the Seaside booked for 28 days this Nov/Dec.  We do not sweat the small stuff, fell in love with the Divina and can't wait to book the Meraviglia (if they would just include the drink package but will book and pay I guess if necessary).  If I believed the reviews for MSC I would never have booked any MSC cruise.

 

Oh and by the way, friendliest and nicest staff and officers I have ever seen on any cruise line and not a newbie...38 cruises so far...could be more but I do not feel like adding tonight LOL.

 

Oh wait, I must add we were in Steerage, not the YC.

Edited by ready2cruzagain

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:27 PM, theEvilQueen2 said:

We just got off Seaside, which we tried due to falling for the hype and offers of 'status match' and such. We booked an Aurea balcony, status match to Gold for RCL Diamond. Upgrade drinks to Deluxe PLUS and family internet package (which is suppose to include up to 4 devices). 

 

Our first clue should have been when our room keys weren't printed, even though I booked months ago and had taken care of all upgrades and status match. We were given a blue card instead of Gold, which we didn't find out until much later was actually a big deal and would cost us in things we were entitled to. 

 

If you ask 5 employees of this ship a question, you will get 5 different answers. If you need to know where to go to get something or something done, you will be sent on a wild goose chase. Whatever you need, the first answer will be NO, either you didn't pay for that or you bought it from an outside vendor (even though you bought it on the MSC website) so they can't help you.  You may think you bought this, but you bought that. And this is not included. And you're an idiot, so sod off. 

 

So many things were botched, from the drink package (we bought the most Plus package, and heard 'that drink is not included' from every waiter and bartender for the first 2 days) , our status match (room steward wouldn't bring us bathrobes, etc) , internet (bought family plan, they said we could only use one device at a time) , etc. The oft repeated line 'that is handled by an outside vender and there is nothing we can do onboard'. After 6 trips and long lines at guest services we got everything (mostly) straight. We were charged for a $15 drink from the first day, but I was not going to stand in line a 7th time, so let it go.   The theme of this ship seemed to be 'the customer doesn't have a clue and the answer is always NO.' (Maybe if I'd had my Gold card they would have realized that this wasn't our first rodeo.) 

 

When I bought the Plus beverage, we were told it was all inclusive, including gelato, Venchi drinks, crepes, basically everything but Venchi retail (chocolate candy). Onboard we were told that the program changed 4 weeks ago and those things are no longer included. And no, even though we bought it months ago, it was not grandfathered in. Refund for false advertising? lol. Also, Plus includes mini bar, but only the things that are standard.  Even if the brand of beer you prefer is onboard, they will not substitute. We managed to get them to take away the gin and Chivas and got 3 bottles of vodka instead, but believe me, that was a hard fight and took 3 days to accomplish.   They substituted and gave me Diet Coke... once. 

 

The bartenders are basically clueless. Mostly. Even on the day that White Russians were the drink of the day they didn't know how to make it. They made it with Stoli (ok), milk and a splash of Kahlua. I asked for heavy Kahlua and got a glorious 2nd splash. A splash, like a splash of Vermouth in a Martini. Most times any drink I ordered from their menu, the bartender needed to look up the ingredients and even then didn't get the proportions correct. I left many a drink on the table and walked away.  We went to the Aurea bar on 19 once and never went back. This was on day 3. I ordered a drink and the bartender waited on 3 people who walked up after me because he knew them from being there from the first day (Aldo, who should be fired). There were a few good bartenders, but even the good ones never got a drink exactly correct and too many of them were just rude. Don't even get me started on the waitresses in The Haven. B-word. 

 

They kept saying it was the most beautiful ship on earth, but's it's all chrome and mirrors, where's the art?  If you're the kind of person who takes a lot of selfies and likes to stare at yourself in mirrors for hours on end, you might enjoy this. Elevators, hallways, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. If there's ever a crash you will surely be sliced to death.    

 

I finally lost it at guest services and was  brought to the supervisors office, where I had a full and complete Italian style meltdown (which is totally out of character for me).


After my melt down, the next morning we went to Future Cruises as instructed to get the Gold Card situation straight. After the crew guy acted like he was annoyed that were we bothering him. we told him our problem and without even looking at his computer he told us that there's was nothing he could do for us onboard, maybe we could get a status upgrade ON OUR NEXT CRUISE. He said NO (typical), before his fingers even touched his keyboard. I was prepared with all my paperwork. He looked it up and there it was, plain in light of day, Gold status and member number. He didn't even have to use the member number I has brought along, it was just there. Even though Guest Services had said NO way.  He checked a box or whatever and then sent us back to our beloved Guest Services to get a new card printed. Then GS sent us back to annoyed guy to see if we could get out hat or tote bag or whatever, which we never did

The next day I received a bottle of champagne and a selection of desserts (straight from the buffet, a box of Venchi would have been nice)  in my stateroom (I gave the champagne to my MDR server). What I wanted was the gift which was promised, the hat or tote or whatever. (which is fine, because they won't get any free advertising on my head). 

 

Some positive, The Meet and Greet was nice. They had drinks, snacks, a cake and a group photo with Captain that we all got a copy of. So that was nice.  

 

Also on a positive, the food was better than most cruises we've been on and the thermal spa is to die for (dry, steam, aroma, salt, salt water hot tub.) Only real problem is there are only 3 hot tables and the international clients seem to feel that chair hogging is their god given right.   I saw one couple put towels on two tables and let them sit there while they did the entire circuit of steam rooms and hot tubs. Some guy (an American of course) finally removed them and it sounded like a fist fight was about to ensue. 

 

You ladies will understand this. You know when you go to the perfume department at Macy's and the sales clerk treats you like you probably can't even afford to be there? That's pretty much how you get treated by everyone who works on this ship. Except the dining room staff, who for some reason are a delightful exception.      

 

This really has nothing to do with anything, but what the hell is the deal with The Morning Show? This is usually where you go to get some helpful information and maybe a few jokes. But the cruise director and staff mgr spend the whole time flirting with each other to the point that they should just get a room and spare us their mating dance. Every morning, the same embarrassing ritual. Sad. I got to the point here I just couldn't look. 

 

The last night we were packing and waiting for the liquor we had purchased onshore. We went to dinner, we went to show, still no liquor. Disembark instructions said if you purchased onboard you had to go to Duty Free to pick it up. So we went to Duty Free and they said we had to go to... ta da.... Guest Services. GS said that we had to go to Security on the day of debark to pick up our 'confiscated illegal liquor'. Long story short, after another round of losing my cool, the liquor was delivered to our room, a good 2 hours after we were supposed to have our suitcases in the hallway. What Ever. 

 

Now and then I complain about some small thing on my preferred cruise line, but after a taste of this alternative, I'm going home.  If you're considering this ship due to all the hype, don't.  Just don't. I cannot in good conscience keep quiet and not tell you this.    Maybe if you book Y Club it may be a different experience, but there's still a lot of bad on the rest of the ship you'll have to deal with. If you've already booked and feel you just have to try it out, make sure you take receipts, paper receipts, for everything you do and buy pre-cruise.  This may help, no guarantee. All those great things their hyping, it's ala carte or you won't get it at all. And if you don't go YC, you will be treated like you're a peasant traveling in steerage. Caveat Emptor.    

 

Happy Cruising.  

Ya..I hear you....bottom line, if you don't pay the mega bucks for the YC....DON'T GO! Ridiculous the way the treatment varies by level and how much you paid....Sticking to Carnival....everyone is treated the same....(great)...and I don't have to pay an extra $1,000.00 YIKES

 

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30 minutes ago, abby1257 said:

Ya..I hear you....bottom line, if you don't pay the mega bucks for the YC....DON'T GO! Ridiculous the way the treatment varies by level and how much you paid....Sticking to Carnival....everyone is treated the same....(great)...and I don't have to pay an extra $1,000.00 YIKES

 

Let start off, I like Carnival.    Going on aCarnival cruise in March.  I enjoy MSC YC more than Carnival.   By the time we buy Carnival’s drink package and their spa, a YC cabin is just as cheap or cheaper.  (Hate the connotation of cheap).  The service is very good in YC and it isn’t that much more in cost by the time you factor in the extras.

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4 hours ago, abby1257 said:

Ya..I hear you....bottom line, if you don't pay the mega bucks for the YC....DON'T GO! Ridiculous the way the treatment varies by level and how much you paid....Sticking to Carnival....everyone is treated the same....(great)...and I don't have to pay an extra $1,000.00 YIKES

 

 

I sailed in Bella on the Seaside and was treated far, far better than on my last couple of Carnival cruises.  I put Carnival in my rear view mirror and haven't looked back.  I am excited about my upcoming Seaside cruise, once again in a Bella stateroom.

 

Just curious, when did you sail MSC to make your statement viable?

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On 5/18/2019 at 10:00 AM, eroller said:

 

    

 

MSC did the status match in North America to pull market share from established cruise lines.  The problem is by doing that MSC also pulled very experienced cruisers that are used to cruise lines that are very well run.  They quickly notice the short comings of MSC which mostly stem from management structure and lack of training.

Eroller, you nailed it for me, it all makes sense now. We thoroughly enjoyed our 21 day TA but in the beloved YC due partially to reviews but also right price for the product and we couldn't put our finger on the WHY of these many issues and I think your long post (I chose brevity over full quote) nailed it minus the experienced American vs European cruise market as we find many well cruised Europeans but you later explained your point in a follow up and it was also correct, the American market is far more extensive by sheer sake of doing it longer. I don't have high standards but I know good service and we saw some crazy stuff happening hence the reason we felt happily snobbish as we fled to the YC enclave. Bottom line, thanks to you and also

 

On 5/18/2019 at 11:27 AM, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

 Not all NA tip of course, but I think it's standard knowledge across the industry that more often than not, the most generous tippers come from North America

Thanks for this recognition...we are well behaved NA's, completely aware of the loud/rude American image and tip heavily and as a person who worked eons in the tip industry, those who do are remembered and treated well EXCEPT in Azamara, a tip meant nothing to them in hitting that upper sundeck for a drink order, we loved that observation and practice, money doesn't buy everything!

🙂

MSC wine bar servers definitely recognized us the minute we walked in and had a double pour for us in minutes and I'm pretty sure it was the gratuity factor after we watched the scene unfolding.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2019 at 10:40 AM, abby1257 said:

Ya..I hear you....bottom line, if you don't pay the mega bucks for the YC....DON'T GO! Ridiculous the way the treatment varies by level and how much you paid....Sticking to Carnival....everyone is treated the same....(great)...and I don't have to pay an extra $1,000.00 YIKES

 

 

That's funny, we sailed 32 days on the Divina in steerage (bella) and was treated like royalty this past December.  Best and nicest crew we have ever had.  In almost 20 cruises on Carnival, I have never been treated as good as we were on MSC.  We were never ignored or treated like you are describing on MSC.  Have you sailed MSC in Bella?

Edited by ready2cruzagain

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There seems to be some misconception that, unless you're in YC, you won't be treated well.  This is far from the truth in our experience of 21 MSC cruises, with only 5 of them being in YC.

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It seems that there are those who appear to be peddling untruths of life outside of the YC !

Maybe some of those people are sailing on the wrong ships and with the wrong cruise line.

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:27 PM, theEvilQueen2 said:

We just got off Seaside, which we tried due to falling for the hype and offers of 'status match' and such. We booked an Aurea balcony, status match to Gold for RCL Diamond. Upgrade drinks to Deluxe PLUS and family internet package (which is suppose to include up to 4 devices). 

 

Our first clue should have been when our room keys weren't printed, even though I booked months ago and had taken care of all upgrades and status match. We were given a blue card instead of Gold, which we didn't find out until much later was actually a big deal and would cost us in things we were entitled to. 

 

If you ask 5 employees of this ship a question, you will get 5 different answers. If you need to know where to go to get something or something done, you will be sent on a wild goose chase. Whatever you need, the first answer will be NO, either you didn't pay for that or you bought it from an outside vendor (even though you bought it on the MSC website) so they can't help you.  You may think you bought this, but you bought that. And this is not included. And you're an idiot, so sod off. 

 

So many things were botched, from the drink package (we bought the most Plus package, and heard 'that drink is not included' from every waiter and bartender for the first 2 days) , our status match (room steward wouldn't bring us bathrobes, etc) , internet (bought family plan, they said we could only use one device at a time) , etc. The oft repeated line 'that is handled by an outside vender and there is nothing we can do onboard'. After 6 trips and long lines at guest services we got everything (mostly) straight. We were charged for a $15 drink from the first day, but I was not going to stand in line a 7th time, so let it go.   The theme of this ship seemed to be 'the customer doesn't have a clue and the answer is always NO.' (Maybe if I'd had my Gold card they would have realized that this wasn't our first rodeo.) 

 

When I bought the Plus beverage, we were told it was all inclusive, including gelato, Venchi drinks, crepes, basically everything but Venchi retail (chocolate candy). Onboard we were told that the program changed 4 weeks ago and those things are no longer included. And no, even though we bought it months ago, it was not grandfathered in. Refund for false advertising? lol. Also, Plus includes mini bar, but only the things that are standard.  Even if the brand of beer you prefer is onboard, they will not substitute. We managed to get them to take away the gin and Chivas and got 3 bottles of vodka instead, but believe me, that was a hard fight and took 3 days to accomplish.   They substituted and gave me Diet Coke... once. 

 

The bartenders are basically clueless. Mostly. Even on the day that White Russians were the drink of the day they didn't know how to make it. They made it with Stoli (ok), milk and a splash of Kahlua. I asked for heavy Kahlua and got a glorious 2nd splash. A splash, like a splash of Vermouth in a Martini. Most times any drink I ordered from their menu, the bartender needed to look up the ingredients and even then didn't get the proportions correct. I left many a drink on the table and walked away.  We went to the Aurea bar on 19 once and never went back. This was on day 3. I ordered a drink and the bartender waited on 3 people who walked up after me because he knew them from being there from the first day (Aldo, who should be fired). There were a few good bartenders, but even the good ones never got a drink exactly correct and too many of them were just rude. Don't even get me started on the waitresses in The Haven. B-word. 

 

They kept saying it was the most beautiful ship on earth, but's it's all chrome and mirrors, where's the art?  If you're the kind of person who takes a lot of selfies and likes to stare at yourself in mirrors for hours on end, you might enjoy this. Elevators, hallways, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. If there's ever a crash you will surely be sliced to death.    

 

I finally lost it at guest services and was  brought to the supervisors office, where I had a full and complete Italian style meltdown (which is totally out of character for me).


After my melt down, the next morning we went to Future Cruises as instructed to get the Gold Card situation straight. After the crew guy acted like he was annoyed that were we bothering him. we told him our problem and without even looking at his computer he told us that there's was nothing he could do for us onboard, maybe we could get a status upgrade ON OUR NEXT CRUISE. He said NO (typical), before his fingers even touched his keyboard. I was prepared with all my paperwork. He looked it up and there it was, plain in light of day, Gold status and member number. He didn't even have to use the member number I has brought along, it was just there. Even though Guest Services had said NO way.  He checked a box or whatever and then sent us back to our beloved Guest Services to get a new card printed. Then GS sent us back to annoyed guy to see if we could get out hat or tote bag or whatever, which we never did

The next day I received a bottle of champagne and a selection of desserts (straight from the buffet, a box of Venchi would have been nice)  in my stateroom (I gave the champagne to my MDR server). What I wanted was the gift which was promised, the hat or tote or whatever. (which is fine, because they won't get any free advertising on my head). 

 

Some positive, The Meet and Greet was nice. They had drinks, snacks, a cake and a group photo with Captain that we all got a copy of. So that was nice.  

 

Also on a positive, the food was better than most cruises we've been on and the thermal spa is to die for (dry, steam, aroma, salt, salt water hot tub.) Only real problem is there are only 3 hot tables and the international clients seem to feel that chair hogging is their god given right.   I saw one couple put towels on two tables and let them sit there while they did the entire circuit of steam rooms and hot tubs. Some guy (an American of course) finally removed them and it sounded like a fist fight was about to ensue. 

 

You ladies will understand this. You know when you go to the perfume department at Macy's and the sales clerk treats you like you probably can't even afford to be there? That's pretty much how you get treated by everyone who works on this ship. Except the dining room staff, who for some reason are a delightful exception.      

 

This really has nothing to do with anything, but what the hell is the deal with The Morning Show? This is usually where you go to get some helpful information and maybe a few jokes. But the cruise director and staff mgr spend the whole time flirting with each other to the point that they should just get a room and spare us their mating dance. Every morning, the same embarrassing ritual. Sad. I got to the point here I just couldn't look. 

 

The last night we were packing and waiting for the liquor we had purchased onshore. We went to dinner, we went to show, still no liquor. Disembark instructions said if you purchased onboard you had to go to Duty Free to pick it up. So we went to Duty Free and they said we had to go to... ta da.... Guest Services. GS said that we had to go to Security on the day of debark to pick up our 'confiscated illegal liquor'. Long story short, after another round of losing my cool, the liquor was delivered to our room, a good 2 hours after we were supposed to have our suitcases in the hallway. What Ever. 

 

Now and then I complain about some small thing on my preferred cruise line, but after a taste of this alternative, I'm going home.  If you're considering this ship due to all the hype, don't.  Just don't. I cannot in good conscience keep quiet and not tell you this.    Maybe if you book Y Club it may be a different experience, but there's still a lot of bad on the rest of the ship you'll have to deal with. If you've already booked and feel you just have to try it out, make sure you take receipts, paper receipts, for everything you do and buy pre-cruise.  This may help, no guarantee. All those great things their hyping, it's ala carte or you won't get it at all. And if you don't go YC, you will be treated like you're a peasant traveling in steerage. Caveat Emptor.    

 

Happy Cruising.  

TY very much for the review and warnings

 

We - like you-- have been intrigued by the Status match and will be Black (now renamed Diamond) IF we do it...

 

We have friends who sailed MSC in the Med and said they hated it (compared to Celebrity) and that the constant luggage in the halls etc (basically a Med taxi service) plus the a la carte was all too tacky --among other things

 

We have thought we'd try the YC which is supposed to be all inclusive etc..and yet have read reviews that CruiseCritic folks say they have a hard time with staff onboard honoring the YC card (drinks/milkshakes etc included ) and crew arguing/wanting to charge YC folks for stuff they shouldn't...

 

Over and over we are hearing about what seems like poorly trained crew...

 

And just this weekend we have been researching-- trying to figure out do we try MSC or heed the red flags...

 

TY for your post

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It never ceases to amaze me that people only take the negative opinions and experiences seriously.

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I looked through someone’s previous posts a few weeks back. The particular poster keeps saying that their next cruise with MSC had better be better than their last etc...

They have several thousand posts on the NCL board. I got the feeling that it’s all show, as that poster would not look ‘cool’ in front of their mates on that forum if they told the truth. Funnily that poster has 2 MSC Cruises booked but not a mentioned of that on The NCL board lol. Would anyone that didn’t enjoy an MSC cruise book another 2.... I think not!!!!!! 

You really should have reviews verified before appearing on here. Fortunately I have the common sense to know what to believe 😀

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Beamafar said:

It never ceases to amaze me that people only take the negative opinions and experiences seriously.

And fail to realise that they are only a very tiny percentage of those that sailed, meanwhile the larger percentage who went away happy are never heard!

It is usually those with a gripe that shout the loudest, while others seem to forget that the Majority of guests are still none American most of whom have never heard of Cruise Critic.

Edited by sidari

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, thecruisers6 said:

I looked through someone’s previous posts a few weeks back. The particular poster keeps saying that their next cruise with MSC had better be better than their last etc...

They have several thousand posts on the NCL board. I got the feeling that it’s all show, as that poster would not look ‘cool’ in front of their mates on that forum if they told the truth. Funnily that poster has 2 MSC Cruises booked but not a mentioned of that on The NCL board lol. Would anyone that didn’t enjoy an MSC cruise book another 2.... I think not!!!!!! 

You really should have reviews verified before appearing on here. Fortunately I have the common sense to know what to believe 😀

Thank you!  Agree, I sailed 1 cruise on Royal...My experience was HORRIBLE....(JUST MY EXPERIENCE)...People rave how much they love Royal Caribbean....and that's great.  BUT...will I spend $1500 on Royal again...NOT DURING MY LIFETIME that's left....If I'm going to spend that kind of money...it's going to be a sure thing next time....ALREADY BOOKED ON THE SURE THING.... OH...AND YES....some of the reviews don't MAKE SENSE....I GET THE DRIFT

Edited by abby1257
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Posted (edited)

Same here.  We did one Celebrity cruise and said "Never again".  I didn't bother writing a lengthy diatribe on how or why on the Celebrity board;  I just went back to booking MSC.  My parents disembarked a Celebrity cruise last week where they had a nightmare cruise due to the lack of medical care when my mother took ill.  She ended up in a high-intensity ward in hospital when they got home.  They may yet have a medical negligence claim.

Edited by Beamafar

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